High 47 Low 36 It’s grey and misty today.

This is some healthy rhubarb!

After straining my wrist a couple weeks ago, things have been a bit harder to keep up with but where there a will there’s a way. Typing in particular was difficult.

Nonetheless, it was a busy couple of weeks here on Songcroft. I taught two classes for Sky Valley Community Schools. (This is similar to a larger towns Parks and Rec.) It was really great to introduce the basics of permaculture to folks who were so new to the concept that they came because the description made sense and intrigued them. The second class I taught was Winter Gardening. I think folks from the class will feel more confidant to give growing year-round a go this year.

Brian did a fabulous job finishing the summer chicken yard roof. It is part clear polycarbonate and part fishing net. I saw the fishing net in the driveway of some folks in town. It sat tin the driveway for quite some time. I asked them if they wanted it hauled off and they were delighted. They were seniors that needed some help so I did some small chores in their yard. It was a win-win for all, including the landfill.

After completing the summer chicken yard I began to landscape around it. I planted a grape that’s been in a pot for at least three years, a honeysuckle, two columnar apples, borage and some wormwood around the edges. It will look nice as well as serving multiple purposes. This is what we refer to as “stacking our functions.”

On one of the really rainy days I worked inside the greenhouse installing the drip irrigation on one side. I will have apprentices help the other side so they get some hands-on experience.

I reorganized my mini barn. Our barn is actually a long narrow building made from huge shipping crate panels and hollow core doors. It was great way to use salvaged materials. What is lacks in size, it makes up for in character but yes, I definitely have barn envy when I look at some large barns out there.

Organizing the barn was no small task as I was mostly one-handed and had to take most everything out to install shelving and hooks so things were in better order. It is now about as organized as it can get for being a small space that is expected to contain more than it’s fair share of gear.

Another thing we did was fill the West side of our land. Usually, it wouldn’t be necessary to fill in a slope on our land as we can take advantage of slopes but this is an area that we have our drain-field in and it needed to have more soil above it. So we spent the better part of this weekend filling and leveling the land so that paths are not so difficult for our many visitors and the drain-field is safely tucked away.

Next we will install some woodchips paths and seed the open areas with meadow mix that our chickens can forage on. This is another way to “stack our functions”. The meadow mix will be beautiful, protect our drain-field, keep mud from being tracked all over and be a source of nutritional forage for our chickens. We try to use the principle of “stacking functions” in all of our designs here on Songcroft. It just makes sense.

Well, it’s time to get busy. It’s soap making day and there’s lots to do!

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